August 30, 2008

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

One of my favourite things to do towards the end of a season, is to scope out Shopbop for bargains during their final sales period. Sadly as much time as I spend stalking Shopbop, I have no actually bought anything from there besides a pair of Marc by MJ shoes which I'd been pining for months and have tried on in real life first. But alas, I keep trying. Here is what I've scout out this season- and for those of you interested, don't forget to act fast on the Labor Day weekend sale! It IS the day to reap the rewards of your labor after all (or so my friend tells me).
A elegant silk red top (Rebecca Taylor) that is sexy yet feminine and girly at the same time, with the cute rosettes lining the bodice. And no, these YSL heels are not from Shopbop, but I thought I'd include them anyway since these two items clearly belong with each other (they are also on sale!).
Items that I probably wouldn't mind wearing next year- and maybe in the next month or so depending on the weather. Only the blue color of this BopBasic top (left) is on sale, but this was the color that caught my eye anyway. You should go check out the back- it is a pretty fabulous design! And this dress is like the navy version of the little black dress updated with cute ruffles.
Lately I am loving the wide legged pants and these blue jeans from J Brand (right) will carry you into fall. Not so much the khaki one from Robert Rodriguez (left), but then it looks really airy and comfortable- it's one of those things that you will wear again next year- even if it is just down the street to run errands!Speaking of things I will wear next year, I will definitely wear this floppy white hat by Eugenia Kim with this simple white dress by Milly. This is just a summer classic outfit. I just love the hat, the construction of it is perfect. It droops and flops at just the right places! This dark floral top from Rebecca Taylor (left) is a hot item that will mix well super well into your FW08 wardrobe i.e. under blazers, with layers etc etc. Ok, so maybe this Anna Sui top (right) is not exactly very versatile, but I wanted to include it in anyway, just because I love the mixing of prints and the over all quirkiness of this top- it will definitely make a statement.

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!

Image Source: ShopBop and Saks

August 29, 2008

Little Black Skirt

Last week while going through the leftover sale merchandises of a store, I found this black skirt and to my surprise, they actually had it in my size. I've been on the look for a black skirt for awhile and since I don't think the skin tight black skirts which are pretty popular these days are particularly flattering, this seemed to be close enough to what I was looking for.

The grey block made me hesistate at first, but my sister persuaded me to buy it (-she thought I was being too picky.) The skirt looks sort of flat and crinkly in the photo (my bad) but when you put it on, it actually sort of puffs up like a ball. Yes I realise this sort of bubble skirts aren't all too trendy anymore but it's cute and on sale.

OK, so how to wear it? I wanted to make sure I didn't wear it with a white dress shirt or anything that would look like officewear. The key is to keep everything casual. But since I've never actually owned black skrits (or anything mid-wa before, I looked for inspiration online.

I love this Luella top! (Please imagine the black shorts on the model as a skirt.) It's casual and cute; it's trendy without being messy.
Plaid/ checked shirts are oh-so-trendy(-and-hipsterish) this summer. You can hardly go into a highstreet store without spotting one of these shirts and they seem to be a popular complement of the black skirt these days (-see images above, from H&M and Urban Ooutfitters.) While plaid tops always look cool in fashion candid and paparazzi pictures, they just don't seem to look great in real life. I don't know if I've just seen the cheap-looking ones or what, but I really can't imagine myself actually looking cool in one of these plaid shirts.
I adore this combination of a tank top with the volume skirt. It's simple and allows one to look effortlessly trendy. Plus, like in the shopbop image, it will leave you free to accessorise. A printed t-shirt looks like a pretty good match too! (See image on the right.)
I can't wait to try out the skirt! Have you guys been wearing a little black skirt this summer too?

August 27, 2008

The Original Penguin

The other weekend, my friends and I had a sudden craving for some good quality burgers and shakes, so we thought- Johnny Rockets! But when we got there having anticipated it for hours, we couldn't find it! Where did Johnny Rockets go? After much wandering around, we finally realized that it has been replaced with a Penguin store.
Personally I didn't realize they had enough merchandise to warrant a whole store. I'd always associated Penguin with men's polo and preppy menswear in general. I didn't know they had womens wear!
So it appears that they do. And the style very much reminds me of the likes of Ted Baker, which is ironic since this brand stems from Minneapolis.
Looking at the window display (instead of indulging in burgers and shakes), I rather liked the shirt dress (above left) they showed. Admittedly it isn't a dress that immediately takes the breath away, but I like to think that there is a subtle charm to it- it also played right into my sudden recent obsession with shirt dresses. I also like this blue shirt dress (right), because while the cutting and design is really simple, the mixture of small polka dot prints with the thin floral print (or I think it's floral) belt is just adorable. My friend just gave me a 20% off coupon for Penguin.. maybe I'll go check this dress out. I hope they fit better than Ted Baker (Ted has the prettiest clothes, but with the worst fit!).
They also have these pretty standard looking dresses. I reckon the plain red dress would be an awesome dress to wear if you loved to accessorize- think headband, think crazy necklace!
These are not bad either. I think I even have something very similar. But you see what I mean about being very Ted Baker? Browsing through their website, I cannot help but feel like I've seen and have been excited about everything before already.... I'd like Johnny Rockets back please!

Image Source: The Original Penguin

August 26, 2008

T-Shirt Dresses

I saved the image of this yellow t-shirt dress by See by Chloe (from the Cruise collection) when it was still online a few months ago. It's bright, casual and looked like such a fun, easy-to-wear dress for the summer. I never managed to see it in real life but it got me looking out for tee shirt dresses.
I love the design of this Mr. Abbott dress. I don't quite love the pinkness of this dress, but it's such a cute design!
The design of this Marc by Marc Jacobs dress looks cute from the front but the hole at the back makes it not very practical for casual, everyday wear.
Urban Outfitters has these simple, short-sleeved dresses. They're even nice enough for a nice dinner or night out.
The other shirt dress I found on uo.com is this plaid shirt dress. The bubble shape at the bottom makes the dress feels less indie and more girly, which makes the dress easier to pull of because let's face it, not everyone can pull of plaid!
The black dress on Lily Donaldson looks like another versatile, day-to-night dress. I'll be looking out for this one on my next trip to H&M.
Another dress I'll be looking out for is this See by Chloe jersey dress. I really like the print on the top and I'm hoping to find it in this dress version, (although I'll be looking out for the t-shirt version too.)
During my search for t-shirt dresses I've noticed that it's much harder this summer than last summer to find them. It probably means that t-shirt dresses aren't 'in' anymore but they're just so cute and easy to wear! Plus, putting on shirt dresses is arguably even more brainless than a denim and t-shirt combo!

August 25, 2008

Odd Shape Shades

As you all know, I simply adore large shades. Over the years, I think you've all heard me go on about big black shades, big brown shades and big aviator shades- all the classics. So where does one move onto next when they've been through all the classics? Well, according to Prada, it is big odd shaped shades! I love them. They have all the essential elements of big black shades that make them classic (the big squarish over sized shape and the black plastic rims), while the slight irregularity gives it that oomph it needs to be refreshing and 'new.'
Speaking of new shapes, I also adore these circular shades from Chanel. I'm not sure if you can see, but there is a thin white lining that highlights the black rims (this highlight also comes in pink too, which is absolutely darling!). At first I wasn't sure about the shape of these shades. It slightly looked like those glasses that incredibly nerdy kids wear in cartoons. Or those toy shades that kids play with i.e. heart shaped shades anyone? But then I tried it on and they actually look fabulous! It has the whole over sized shades thing going on for it. The white/pink rimmed highlighting and the diamond pattern on the side makes it feminine and sophisticated. And the circular shape is just more modern and fun.

The only trade off is that these irregularly shaped shades were just not made to sit on the head as headbands really well. Oh well.


Image Sources: Chanel and Prada

August 24, 2008

Prada F/W08 Ad Campaign

The theme of this season's ads for a few major brands seems to be to feature supermodels -the real kind of supermodel from the 90's. Well, Prada got Linda Evangelista. OK, so I have to admit that I don't really know how to appreciate most supermodels' sort of beauty. I mean, yes, of course they are all gorgeous. But when they were at the top of their careers, I was too young to notice these things so I'm not exactly a fan of the whole supermodel movement. However, from the old photos I've seen of Linda Evangelista, I remember thinking she was the most gorgeous one out of the group, yet she doesn't look her usual gorgeous self in this ad campaign.
And ok, Sasha Pivovarova is admittedly one of my favourite models but I am not one of those fans who think she should get every Prada campaign until the end of time. Plus, the whole lace thing is so hard to pull off and frankly, sort of aiming for an older audience so a more traditional, mature model is probably more suitable. But seriously, Linda Evangelista does not exactly look tradiational to me here -her face looks weird. Maybe it's just whatever anti-aging treatment she's done and the mono shape of her lips.
But I suppose it's not a completely horrible campaign -the colour of the background and the shadows in the images are very cool.
How do you rate the F/W08 Prada ad campaign?
Image Credit: www.prada.com

August 22, 2008

The Classic Denim Mini

Recently I've been in a major fashion slump, meaning that I've been recycling two outfits over and over again for the past few weeks. In fact, my fashion slump has been so serious that I've resorted to wearing my sister's denim mini skirt.
Yes that's right -a classic denim skirt. It's not even one of those trendy A-line minis, which are oh-so-trendy this season. And I'm so lazy that I just wear it with my current love, an American Apparel V-neck shirt. While the white tee and denim mini combination feels very juvenile to me (-it's very high school isn't it?), it's also strangely very comforting. With fashion trends coming and going faster than ever, it's just getting tiring and frankly, not very exciting to keep up with it all. I mean, I adore Zara and H&M for its fast fashion and prices but since I am stuck in a fashion slump, nothing seems more charming than a plain, casual outfit that is the tee and denim mini.

Right now I'm trying to find a denim mini to buy. A problem with the denim mini is that I'm finding it really difficult to find a denim mini which is of a decent length. It's not like I'm asking much -I just want one that ends around or slightly below mid-thighs. But in the shops tha't I've been to (-ok, basically only Top Shop,) all I've seen are mini minis. How do people even move around in those? BG tells me that America Eagle Outfitters makes pretty good denim minis (see image.) But since I don't live in the States, I'm hoping the next time I go to H&M or some other casual shop, they'll be selling some decent denim minis!

Image Credit: www.ae.com

August 20, 2008

Understated and Elegant?

In celebration of her recent bonus and exam results, one of my girl friends decided to invest in a handbag. She asked me to recommend her something suitable for work that is understated, classic and preferably not Chanel (which was naturally my first instinct!). Naturally when it comes to understated, classic, the Birkin comes to mind, but I think we can wait a few years before we proceed to that level. So I added young to the equation. Many "it" bags come to mind, but few are classic. So here I've listed a few that I think may last through the test of time. The Balenciaga motorcycle (left) and the Miu Miu bow bag (right). HG and I love them both and if you've been reading this blog, you'd know that already since these two bags have been positively overblogged by us. They were 'it' for a reason. I may be biased (because we own them), but I'd like to think that these two are classic. Only thing is that they've been around for a while already so you'd see it a lot in the streets and I'm not exactly sure that they qualify for "understated" or work (is there such a thing as being too hip for work? or am I just being a prude?). Two bags I personally think is more understated and appropriate for work, is the Classic Multi Pocket bag from Marc Jacobs (left) and the Dr Q Groovee satchel from Marc by Marc Jacobs. These are not as in your face as some 'it' bags, but they are definitely still very recognizable as MJ by those in the know. They are also simple, elegant and young. Love them!
For a bit more detail and design, there is the Miu Miu napa bag. But I personally think that this one is a but too recognizable and will be dated in a year or so. For something a bit more exclusive there is the Valentino Histoire bag, a less common 'it' bag that resembles the Mulberry bag from back in the days a bit.
And I KNOW that this is supposed to be young and understated, but I can't help but posting these two. If I were a bit older I'd definitely go for the Bottega Veneta bag (left). Even though it is covered with the Vuitton monogram, I can't help but love this Vuitton Mahina bag. The prints are subtle and the design is just elegant and so cute all at once. I want one!
Now for the winner of this competition- the YSL Muse. A bit more sophisticated than the Marc Jacobs, this bag is structured, simple and elegant. It fits everything and is definitely perfect for work. I checked out the Muse II as well, but I didn't really like it. It looked like it was pretending to be a Birkin. For something a bit more casual and young, I am loving the YSL Downtown bag as well. This will probably be less common on the streets as well.

Any other bags I missed out?

Image Source: E Luxury, Saks and Balenciaga

August 19, 2008

Shocking Pink Lips

Ever since Gossip Girl started last year, I've been getting more encouraged to try out more makeup. One of the things that I've been inspired to try out is shocking pink lipstick. I tried to find pictures of Blair Wardolf wearing bright pink lipstick but I can't seem to find any (-ignore the fact that Leighton Meester's lips aren't exactly bright pink in the picture.) Maybe I just imagined her having bright pink lips. Anyway, by chance, I got hold of a free bright pink lipstick, which is way too sparkly for my taste but hey, it was free so I feel the duty to at least experiment with it. So here's some research into how to wear it:

Bright pink lips seemed to be pretty popular on the runway in S/S07. In the Diane von Furstenburg show, the look seemed to be basically bright pink lips with pale, clear skin and natural-looking mascara. Note the tiny bit of shimmer on the inner corners of the eyes. Also, note the hint of gold/ orange in the inner edge of the lips.

Solid, matte bright pink at the Bradgley Mischka S/S08 show. The other makeup used seems pretty similar, except there is more blush used here, and the skin is not as bright and perfect as in the DvF show.

Then things got much more dramatic on the Christian Dior F/W08. The pink lips are glossy and the brows are heavily painted in. The foundation on the skin also seems a lot of powedery.

So when I actually try out this look, I'll probably go with something very similar to the DvF S/S07 look, but without bothering with the gold in the lips. While I think bright pink lips looks cool and edgy and girly in magazine editorials and on TV, I'm still not sure how bright pink lips actually work in real life. My main question is, do people actually wear shocking pink lipstick in real life?

August 18, 2008

The Vuitton Neverfull

By now I would've sworn that I was over logo patterns, but then I started seeing the Vuitton Neverfull bag everywhere.
On TV shows, on celebs (above: Kristin Davies and Heidi from The Hills) .... and they just looked so cool, casual and chic carrying it that I couldn't resist but lust after it. The amazing ad campaign they have for it this season doesn't help my case either. They make it look so versatile, perfect for a casual summer day....
.. or a fall day going to work. This above is my absolutely favourite look by the way, with her soft wind blown hair, clean barely there make-up, simple chic coat, effortlessly thrown on scarf, stylish jewelry and the bag- it is just perfect! And it doesn't appear like too hard to imitate either. All one needs is the Neverfull bag to spice up a standard chic fall outfit. What a clever ad!The bag itself even without such great publicity is rather clever too. The shape is super simple, but by making it in a thinner more malleable canvas material and the addition of the strings on the side that can be pulled to make another shape, it becomes a light, convenient (imagine all the things you can fit in there), versatile yet stylish bag. It's a wonder they didn't come up with that earlier! (or have they and I just never noticed until now?)
It actually reminds me a little of the Goyard bag, which I've been lusting after as well, also printed and similarly shaped, made of a more thin and malleable material. I like to think that the Goyard print is a bit more subtle and not as in your face. But then the Neverfull does appear to have more design and versatility to it, with its very cute strings on the side! Oh I can't decide which one I love more!

Image Source: E Luxury and Goyard

August 17, 2008

Headband: Red or Blue?

Gossip Girl hasn't even started this season, but my obsession with headbands persist. The other day while I was buying a simple clip for my hair (it is way too big by the way), I came across this Cara headband and fell in love with it.
It's just so simple and understated, with a feminine but elegant bow on the side that doesn't make me look like a little girl. The subtle shiny navy blue color subtly contrasts with my black hair, making it appear even more black, which effectively is the effect I aim for. It's the perfect headband to carry me into fall, since it's so subtle I can probably wear it with everything.

The problem of course is that it comes in a variety of colors and I'm wavering between the navy blue and the deep maroon red color. My first instinct was to pick up the blue, but then I caught sight of the red and the red is so nice too. It also contrasts with my dark hair beautifully, but while the navy blue is subtly elegant, the red pops and makes a statement. It won't be as versatile as the navy blue, but it'll definitely be special.

So if you were me, which one would you pick? Or is it nothing special at all (and that I was only in love with it because it happened to match the outfit I was wearing that day) and I'm better off without it?

August 15, 2008

08 Trend: Braided Hair

Braided hair has been one of the most obvious beauty trends this year. People seem to have a love-hate relationship with it -some people think it's pretty and some think it's just too cutesy. For most part, I think braids is a cute way to add some girliness to ones hairstyle, but it really depends on how you do it and whether it suits the rest of your look.

The celebrity that has been sporting braids the most seems to be Lauren Conrad. And if you know Lauren's usual style (-very girly,) then you would probably agree that the braids really suit Lauren.
The basic way seems to be braiding the front bit of your hair and pull the briad to one side, and tie all your hair up into a pony tail. Look how well the braid goes with Lauren's style!
And she even manages to use the braid to glam up her whole hairstlye and look.
Nicole Richie uses the braids to complement her boho, LA style.
Then there's the braided up-do.
I have to admit I think this hairstyle really doesn't suit Gwen Stefani. It looks so complicated and just... weird on her.
I love the way Rachel wore the braid. She manages to wear the braid without looking overly girly, keeping her casual and trendy look.
Despite how cute I think the braid is, I still haven't tried it out yet. It's probably because I don't want to look like I'm 14, but mostly because it requires some effort to pull together (as opposed to doing nothing.) What do you think of the braid trend? Have you tried it?